Kilkenny captain Lester Ryan lifts the Liam MacCarthy Cup after the All-Ireland hurling final replay win over Tipperary at Croke Park. Photograph:  Ryan Byrne/Inpho

All-Ireland winners show that specialists continue to rule the roost at the highest level

Donegal’s goalkeeper Paul Durcan gets above  Eamonn McGee and Kerry’s  Kieran Donaghy to clear the ball during the All-Ireland Football Final at Croke Park. Photograph:  Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Goalkeepers suffer fate of having no control over redemption following errors

 Kerry manager Eamon Fitzmaurice. Photograph:  Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

‘We’ll willingly make heroes out of their biggest spoofers, because they’re so damn charming’

 Kerry’s David Moran and Seamus O’Shea of Mayo in action.  Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Watching the Morans, Ogie and David, last Saturday offered a moment to gladden the heart

 Keith Higgins of Mayo tracks Kerry’s James O’Donoghue at Croke Park last weekend.  Photograph: Donall Farmer / Inpho

James Horan’s side will have to play to their strengths to topple James O’Donoghue and Kerry

 Tipperary’s Seamus Callanan celebrates scoring his side’s second goal. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Winning and losing is not about the grand gesture but a thousand smaller things coming together at the right time

Dublin’s Cian O’Sullivan and Bryan Cullen close down Donegal’s  Michael Murphy during the 2011 All-Ireland SFC semi-final at Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Kilkenny hurlers and Dublin footballers keep moving things on in search for perfection

The    gorgeous piece of skill from Shane Walsh for his first-half point spread like wildfire on social media.  Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Young Galway forward improving by the day ahead of Croke Park clash with Kerry

  Conor McDonald in action for Wexford in an Under-21 match against Dublin. He’s a player that gets supporters excited. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho.

Wexford’s journey through the summer has been an enjoyable one to follow amid growing levels of excitement

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte is surely contemplating how he will know when his tenure should end. Photograph: Andrew Paton / Inpho / Presseye

Tyrone manager’s legacy already written thanks to success comparable to the greats

 Colm Cooper’s role with Kerry has been embraced by James O’Donoghue. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Shefflin, Cooper and Neymar cast long shadows from which fledgling heroes must emerge

 Mayo manager James Horan (left) and Gavin Duffy (centre) along with Mayo players at Dr Hyde Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Moving from a professional to amateur environment and swapping one sport for another is a tough remit irrespective of ability

 Joe Canning celebrates scoring a late penalty. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

In two codes Galway offered some great things, and also exposed some of the same old problems

Waterford goalkeeper Stephen O’Keeffe charges down Anthony Nash’s penalty during the Munster SHC  quarter-final replay at Semple Stadium.  Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Faux bravery will remain but risk of serious injury in hurling needs immediate action

 Tipperary’s Thomas Stapleton contests possession with Donal O’Grady and Kevin Downes of Limerick. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Babs Keating’s assertion that Tipperary were soft caused a huge uproar prior to the game against Limerick

Donegal goalkeeper Paul Durcan celebrates with his  captain Michael Murphy after the final whistle at Celtic Park.

Faced with a Derry team that hold onto the ball for longer than a Led Zeppelin back-catalogue, Donegal manager Jim McGuinness cut (...)

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